The notorious “Media Gate” scandal involving business tycoon Malik Riaz and private TV anchors Mehar Bukari and Mubahsar Lucman has created a wave within the nation. Many questions have been posed with a finger being pointed onto the credibility of journalists. Almost 19 journalist are mentioned on the so-called “Media Gate” list.
Mehar Bukhari, the main accused in the video leaked on YouTube, came forward with a TV program show on Thursday. The private TV anchor, during her TV show, clarified her position while labeling the video posting on the internet as an act of robbery.
Mehar Bukhari said that is a normal ritual within the media industry to listen to the demands of the guest who is being interviewed. “Whoever comes to an interview do have their own requirements, they want to be asked certain questions and we as anchors have to oblige them,” said Mehar.
“If the interview was planted, then why me and Lucman had to co-ordinate the entire program during the break of the live show. If it was a planted interview, it should have been planned way earlier,” stated Mehar Bukhari
Mehar Bukhari added that her name on the letter head of Bahria Town would be investigated and the other journalists mentioned on the list would also take appropriate action against the accusations. She added that the entire list of journalists, after proper legal consultation, may file for defamation against Malik Riaz and she in person would go to court against the business tycoon
Qamar Zaman Kaira was brought in to help with the clarification of Mehar Bukhari. The Federal Information Minister stated that during breaks of live TV programs, politicians and journalist chat normally, joking as if conversing with friends. This is because they know each other quiet well.
Kaira further stated that this interview could not have been planned because if the program would have been planted then why the two anchor, Mehar and Mubashir, were found arguing with each other with respect to the pattern and the questions to be asked during the talk show.
Kaira attested Mehar’s claim that questions are asked on the request of the guest and the anchors of such talk shows do oblige these requests, stating it to be a normal procedure.
The video posting on the internet was deemed illegal and unconstitutional by Kaira.
Khawaja Mohammad Asif was also called upon during the show and he also defended Mehar Bukhari by stating that although a nexus seemed somewhat visible between Lucman, Malik Riaz and Abdul Qadir Gilani; Mehar Bukhari seemed a victim to fall under the eclipse of the entire scenario.
Mehar Bukari ended her clarification by adding that she did not receive any instructions with respect to the questions, the only instructions that she was given was no to harass the guest and give him space to talk freely. She added that normal discussions were made during the interview; such discussions are a normal routine work during such interviews. She finally swore that neither her management nor ‘she in person’ were involved in planting the interview.
“If I lie or if I have received a single penny or a single yard of any land from Malik Riaz, may Allah reveal His wrath upon me,” she added.
Story first published: 15th June 2012